We’re all in business for the same thing. And, in the mobile app development world, there are several ways to make your app profitable. From banner ads to subscriptions, there’s a list of methods in use today…but do all of these methods make sense for your upcoming app? Let’s take a look at what’s hot in monetizing apps these days, and how it might work for you.
Advertising Your App
We’ll start with the standby. Digital advertising takes all shapes and forms, and there’s no shortage of businesses that would love to rent space on your app. That said, there’s probably more downside to hosting ads on your app than money to be made. But, if you’re clever, you can still find ways to monetize. Here are a few pros and cons with app advertising.
- The majority of users prefer to skip ads altogether. Not only that, as discussed in this post, over a quarter of users surveyed say they’ve uninstalled apps due to annoying advertising. Definitely not a space you want to find yourself in.
- Low-quality or irrelevant ads can spook your users also, even if they’re accustomed to seeing them. You have worked hard to present a high-end and well-designed app, complete with great UX/UI for your users. Cheap and cheesy ads in awkward spots drags down the total feel of your app you’ve worked (or paid) so much for.
- Above all of this, it’s hard to count on a steady cashflow from these ads. First, as we discussed, many users can’t stand ads. Additionally, it’s often the case that ads are clicked on by mistake, and rarely lead to conversions or click-throughs. Some ads aren’t even available on a global network due to their limited network, so will only be available in certain regions.
- While many ad agencies have limited networks, it may be beneficial to think big and get some backups. Different ad agencies have various coverages and targets, so if you layer them carefully, you may be able to cover a larger population and get more conversions.
- You need to insist on all things high-quality for your app, and that includes any ads you may choose to have. Be picky about the products, design, and where it appears on your screen. If it’s too close to a button or other control, you’ll annoy the user with accidental clicks and still not convert. Click through any potential ad to see where the user might end up. Prioritizing the UX is always a good idea.
- If you do find some ads that feature quality products and match your design sense, crunch some numbers. Use any analytics tools you can get to learn who’s using your app, then target these populations accordingly.
The Freemium Thing
Obviously, charging for a download of your mobile app on whichever marketplace you’re on will make you some cash. For some high-powered apps, users won’t mind paying for a download…problem is, the opportunities to monetize a purchased app more or less stop there. Most users won’t like the idea of additional purchases after the initial charge, and many more just aren’t interested in paying for an app at all.
Using a premium model is quickly becoming the strategy of choice for app developers. Users download the app for free, then choose to select various features to upgrade it for money. The success of this is predicated on how good your free app feels, and also how effectively you can prove the value and utility of your premium features. Offering a free trial might be a smart way to go to give users that experience. Regardless, you should decide if it’s a one-time upgrade or more of an a la carte method where you buy only the features you need, and plan development accordingly.
Sell Your Code
If you have already developed and launched a successful app, it’s likely that you have innovative and desirable code written for any of the given features. If users are raving about it, other app developers will take notice. White labeling chunks of your code and making it available to developers is a way to profit from the incredible work your developers have done without affecting or interrupting the user experience at all.
This monetization method is only feasible if you have features that are truly innovative; as such, you shouldn’t have a hard time proving its value if it can save other developers time and money. For example, if you have premium features as explained above that users are quite willing to pay for, you probably have something special that others would also pay a premium price for.
The practice of affiliate or referral programs is well known in today’s digital age as an effective monetization method. Typically, a well-known blog, influencer, or website will recommend and endorse a product or service, provide a unique URL link for the reader to follow through to the desired conversion, and then receive predetermined payment for the help. It’s a particularly efficient form of marketing and sales, as only the actual result is paid for.
If you have an existing successful app, with a proven download or subscription rate, you can explore the idea of referring other apps, brands, products or services on your app. When considering this option while also needing to keep the quality and integrity of your app, you should be certain to keep anything you’re advocating in line with the niche of your app. For example, if you have a MedTech mobile app, promoting other apps or products in the healthcare/fitness/stress management sector is the best way to keep your audience engaged and trusting your app.
There are several other ways to potentially monetize your app, such as in-app purchases, paid content archives, or escalating subscriptions. There’s no best universal way to do it. Rather, it’s a sound strategy to ascertain that the quality of your app isn’t compromised with junky ads, clumsy UX, or off-brand links. Whether you’re in the development phase of your future app, or your mobile app is already successful and needing a monetization strategy, it’s best to consult a business analyst at a well-respected app development partner to discuss these concepts. You worked hard to get your app to the point it’s at. You deserve the profits it can generate.
Ready to discuss taking your app to the next level and monetizing it? Contact us today for a free consultation!